Review: 1985-86 New Jersey Devils postcard set

Ten card set is 30% goalies, 100% mediocre.

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #1 - Mark JohnsonThe 1985-86 New Jersey Devils postcard set was very small, consisting of only ten cards. Allegedly, only 3,000 sets were produced. While I am not sure if this is true or not, I don’t think the demand for this set is going to raise its value anytime soon – you can probably find it in the $10-15 range.

Player selection  1 out of 5
Only ten players are featured in this set – and three of them are goalies. When you make a card of your first string goalie, your second string goalie and your third string goalie – and then just seven other player cards – it rings loud and clear that the Devils team from the ’85-86 season was pretty bad. The goalies in question – Alain Chevrier, Glenn “Chico” Resch and Craig Billington – each played in a fair amount of games for New Jersey that season – meaning that the team really didn’t have a clear number one (read: good) goaltender.

While there are cards of Kirk Muller and Mark Johnson in this set – as well as the Devils’ leading scorer Greg Adams – the other four players are not very notable: Paul Gagne, Perry Anderson, Randy Velischeck and Craig Wolanin. Gagne was at the end of his NHL career, while the latter three would not get featured on “real” hockey cards until the 90’s card boom, when practically every player – and not just the very best ones – would get a card.

What I don’t understand why some of the more exciting and well-known Devils – such as John MacLean, Pat Verbeek, Aaron Broten or Bruce Driver – were not featured in this postcard set. That would have made this set pretty badass…as badass as a ten-card set of a last place team could be.

Card design  2 out of 5
These are just postcards. The front is a photo of the player, and that’s it. No name, number, or logo.

Seven of the postcards use vertical photographs, while the other three use horizontal shots. The photos, for the most part, are action-oriented, which is actually quite good considering the time. Cards from the 1980s mostly featured warm-up photos, whereas these postcards feature some decent game action shots. Not the greatest action shots ever – just decent ones.

Stats & info  n/a
The back of each postcard has the player’s name, date of birth, height, weight, position, hometown and an interesting fact about them (more on that in a moment). The postcards also have a “box” for you to put a stamp, as well as a lot of blank space to write an address and your message – these are postcards, after all. What better way to say “Hi” to your out-of-state friend than sending them a postcard featuring Perry Anderson, or Paul Gagne?

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #1 - Mark Johnson (back)I do enjoy the factoid about each player on the back of each postcard. Some of them are mundane, while others are interesting. Here’s a sampling:

Alain Chevrier: Reason for playing in goals. “Older brother wanted to be a shooter, younger brother forced to be goaler.”

Chevrier played 226 games over six NHL seasons, so I guess he should thank his brother’s selfishness.

Paul Gagne: Scored 10 of his team’s 11 goals in a game the first time his grandfather ever saw him play.

Awwww…..nobody cares. Next!

Randy Velischek: Never lost a tooth in his minor hockey career – lost his bottom four in his second N.H.L. game.

Like he didn’t see that coming.

Kirk Muller: Scored 32 of his teams [sic] 33 goals as an 8 year old in a Toronto tournament.

An appropriate fact, as Muller would develop into a decent scorer for the first ten years of his NHL career.

Final Score: 1 out of 5Unless you are a die-hard Devils fan, you can skip this one. The cards are really not that interesting, and the player selection is underwhelming.

BONUS: Top 5 cards

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #2 - Craig Billington2 – Craig Billington – Billington would spend the next five years buried in the minors, and would not be featured on an NHL trading card until the 1991-92 season.

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #3 - Alain Chevrier3 – Alain Chevrier – Nice photo of the goalie, ready to face a shot.

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #5 - Chico Resch5 — Chico Resch – A good glove save. Plus, while his name was Glenn, they called him “Chico”. Is that cool or what?

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #7 - Craig Wolanin7 – Craig Wolanin – A good action shot of the longtime defender – during his rookie year – skating with the puck.

1985-86 New Jersey Devils #9 - Kirk Muller9 – Kirk Muller – The best player featured in this set, this card is the most expensive single.

NOTES
10 card set
Card Size: 3 5/8″ wide x 5 1/2″ tall
Click here to download a printable checklist

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *